By GARY ANDREWS
It is amazing at how people place signs along the road or maybe place two signs close together to get a totally different message from what are intended.
My wife and I, along with some friends, were travelling home from Branson, MO, when we stopped for some lunch. As we were leaving the restaurant I noticed a sign across the street that read “Dead End.” Of course we have seen this type sign many times in many places on streets that stop and are leading to no-where.
What really got my attention was a neon sign placed next to it that read, “Repent in the name of Jesus and be baptized.” This sign was sitting in an open field, not facing any building, or giving any directions on where to go for repentance but was next to the sign that read “Dead End.”
There are many people in the world today that are trying to get across the message that if you believe in Jesus and are baptized to show the world that you are leaving the old way behind and accepting the new way of letting the Holy Spirit lead your life, that you are headed in a dead end direction. This message is totally wrong!
When you repent of your sins and ask Jesus to be Lord and Savior of your life then your life begins anew with the assurance that you will live with Jesus for eternity. Baptism in a God fearing, Bible based church, is to let the world know that you are a new person in Christ and that you belong to a fellowship of believers. The old world is not your lord and master anymore.
The world is full of agnostics, atheists, and unbelievers that will try and taint the salvation message of Jesus Christ. We see this in many outlets such as television, movie theaters, government, and yes, even to some degree in our churches. The world will stop at nothing to try and deceive you and your thoughts of eternal life and heaven.
It is my hope that the road sign and the neon sign was just a coincidence. As our group left the restaurant that day and we all looked at the signs we agreed that it could have been a message of deterrence for someone struggling to find happiness and peace within their life. For me, knowing Jesus is a life of contentment, happiness, and peace. For others, their message will be that following Jesus is a dead end street. Today’s society seems to be a repeat of what the priest-prophet Ezekiel went through in his time. In his old testament book chapter 33:10-11 tells us, “…Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live? Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.’ Turn, turn from your evil ways!...
Prayer: Thank you Lord for each day of life that you allow me to have. I pray that I can be witness for you and an example for someone struggling in their daily life. Amen.
(Suggested daily Bible readings: Sunday – Revelation 2:20-22; Monday – Malachi 3:6-18; Tuesday – James 4:7-12; Wednesday – 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10; Thursday –Exodus 9:27-30; Friday – Romans 6:15-23; Saturday – Jeremiah 25:4-6.)
Gary Andrews is the author of Encouraging Words: 30-days in God’s Word. To obtain a copy go to his website www.gadevotionals .com.
By Gary Andrews
Recently a friend of mine stood up at prayer meeting on a Wednesday night and sang the song, “One Day at a Time”. I have heard this song many times before but this night it really had a special meaning and everyone in attendance could feel the presence of the Lord as the lady sang.
Her sincerity and attention that she gave each word, each phrase, and each verse was so well voiced that most everyone in the audience had tears rolling down their cheeks. She was overjoyed with the fact that 20 years had passed since her aneurism had burst in her head and she was alive today to tell how gracious and how good God is. She also told of His love and His power of healing.
So many of us in today’s society take for granted how good or guarded our health is. We hardly ever stop to thank God for what He has given us and how He had taken us through so many trials and tribulations. Most of us get on our knees and beg Him to take care of us when nothing seems to be working and He is our last hope.
Why is it always this way? Most of us realize that we just didn’t evolve but was created through God’s loving care; however we will almost never talk with Him unless we are in dire straits. Most of us live in this hurry up world and never slow down enough to thank God for the day He has given us. Most of us never stop to thank Him for the food we have, the water, much less the beauty of His creation that is all around.
“One day at a time, Sweet Jesus,” a song written by Marijohn Wilkins and Kris Kristofferson, recorded by over 200 artists, tells us exactly who we are and what we should be doing. The chorus of this song says, “One day at a time sweet Jesus, that’s all I’m asking from you, just give me the strength to do every day what I have to do, yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus and tomorrow may never be mine, Lord help me today, show me the way, one day at a time.”
For over 20 years my friend has taken this song to heart and literally takes one day at a time. Until we all face the realization that tomorrow may never come we will never experience the full joy that today has in store for us. Have you talked with God today?
Prayer: Father thank you for another day of life. Thank you for the many blessings you have given me and I pray that you will guide me in all that I do. Amen.
(Suggested daily Bible readings: Sunday – Psalm 92:1-8; Monday – Isaiah 33:2; Tuesday – Ecclesiastes 9:3-4; Wednesday – Colossians 1:1-6; Thursday – 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12; Friday – Deuteronomy 10:12-13; Saturday – Ephesians 5:15-16.)
Gary Andrews is the author of Encouraging Words: 30-days in God’s Word. To obtain a copy go to his website www.gadevotionals.com.
By GARY ANDREWS
It seems that each day I open my emails, someone has sent me a good story with a tremendous ending. Sharing these stories on occasion allows me to new insight to people and their plights and/or pleasures.
The other day I received a story about an older couple that continued to live on a farm outside the hustle and bustle of city life. Their children were grown and moved on to the faster pace living and really couldn’t understand why their parents wouldn’t want to do the same.
On a visit home one day, one of the children began reminiscing about his youth and walked around the farm with his parents. They spoke about the great gardens grown in the past and all of the animals they have had. The family had been in the horse business for many years but had slowed down quite a bit from showing and selling their horses.
One of the older horses was still among the younger horses in the barn and the son posed the question, “Why do you keep the older horse? She is not a productive animal anymore. Sell her or getting rid of her would give you some extra money that you probably need.”
Without hesitation the older farmer looked up and said, “We keep her because of love. Nothing else but pure love.”
That evening after the son had gone back to the city and the farmer and his wife had gone to bed, the farmer was awaken by the smell of smoke. He looked out the window to see that the barn was on fire.
He couldn’t get inside the barn and his greatest fear was that he had lost all of his horses to the fire. He told his wife there was nothing they could do but to praise God for He had blessed them over the years. He told her, “let’s go the big old tree on the hill and say our prayers there.”
As the older couple, during the coldness of the night, trudged their way to the hill so they could talk with God under the tree where they had been many times before. As they were approaching the tree they could see shadows on the hill next to the tree and when they arrived they found the older horse had led the younger ones out of the barn when the fire started.
The older horse had been to the tree with the couple before and her innate wisdom allowed her to take the younger generation of horses to this same spot when trouble approached them.
Life is like a fire to some of our younger generation today, just as it was when all of our older folks were young. Sometimes we get into situations and don’t know which way to turn and then, through the wisdom of an older generation, we see solutions that can ease our problems. Just about every solution will lead us back to the God that has guided so many generations across this earth.
In most every situation we will find our problems are when we leave God on the outside and try to fix them ourselves.
The most valuable resources and the most Godly people will rank among the senior citizens of today. Be smart, pay attention to them, and invoke on their wisdom plus their trust in the Lord.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for our senior adults and for the wisdom they possess of past times. Thanks to you they know that you are the one and only true God and they are not ashamed to tell people about your Saving Grace. Amen.
(Suggested daily Bible readings: Sunday - Job 32:1-9; Monday - Psalm 111:10; Tuesday - 2 Corinthians 2:1-10; Wednesday - Luke 12:8-12; Thursday - Proverbs 8:1-11; Friday - 1 Kings 3:5-15; Saturday - Galatians 2:6-10.)
Gary Andrews is the author of “Encouraging Words – 30 days in God’s Word” an uplifting devotional book leading into a daily journey. To obtain a copy of his book visit his website at www.gadevotionals.com or stop by the Yazoo Herald for an autographed copy.
By Gary Andrews
If you ever hear of someone that has played golf with me, they will tell you that I am probably the most inconsistent golfer they have ever seen. Listen to them because they are telling the truth. For 40 something years I have chased golf balls, that is, the ones I could find, all over golf courses. I have never tried to be better than my playing level because this is a game I enjoy but have never pursued mastering.
There are many of us walking this earth that try to be someone that we are not. I have met and seen many people that have said they could do things that they had no idea of even where to start. Then there are people that play games with life, just as my golf game, playing hard but never mastering the subject. Why are we like this?
Are you one of those people that would rather tell a lie than tell the truth? Does it give you a sense of security, value or prestige knowing that the person you are talking with may never know the truth? What if the person you are talking with challenges you and asks you to fulfill the task?
I have seen this happen many times. The person doing the bragging or telling lies to fill their self-worth cannot do what they have said they could. You then become labeled as an inconsistent person and this label is something that you will carry until you actually can walk the talk.
Many of us call ourselves great Christians, but are we really? Do we live and do what we say we do? Are we living by the standards that Christ gave us and are we witnessing for Him through our talk and actions? Are we listening to the gospel that is Christ ordained or have we tuned into the gospel of the world and allowed our thinking to be subpar to what Christ has asked us to do?
Remember what the apostle Paul told the church at Galatia in Galatians 1:6-7; “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel - which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.”
The world is really good at allowing you and asking you to live as the world does and get away from the teachings of Jesus Christ. People see us on the street of the cities that we live and work and see us doing things inconsistent of what Jesus tells us.
The only way that we can live a life for Christ is to stay in his word and obey His teachings. Then we can become masters of the Christian life and people will not see any inconsistency in our daily walk. It is the same as when I play golf. If I would take lessons I could better myself but I understand it is only a game for me to enjoy. As long as I can be the Christian person on the course that I am in everything else I do, then I believe God will bless me through it. He asks me to be consistent in my walk with Him in everything I do.
Prayer: Father God I praise you for all the blessings you have given me. I thank you for each and every day you give me on earth and I pray that I can serve and witness for you in all that I do. Amen.
(Suggested daily Bible readings: Sunday – Galatians 1:6-9; Monday – Judges 17:1-13; Tuesday – Matthew 7:1-6; Wednesday – 2 Kings 10:18-31; Thursday – John 7:21-24; Friday – Luke 6:46-49; Saturday – Matthew 23:1-4.)
Gary Andrews is the author of Encouraging Words: 30-days in God’s Word. To obtain a copy go to his website www.gadevotionals. com.